Most holidays, alcohol consumption increases for many people. St. Patrick’s Day is one of the holidays where alcohol consumption is at its highest level. This also makes it one of the deadliest times of year on the roadways. This is because many individuals make the unfortunate decision to get behind the wheel after drinking. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are promoting their annual campaign to avoid the dangers of driving impaired as part of a national Saint Patrick’s Day “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.”
The NHTSA reports that drinking and driving account for nearly 1/3 of vehicle fatalities in the United States. NHTSA also reports that St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest holidays on our nation’s roads.
PennDOT data shows there were 28 alcohol related motor vehicle accidents on Saint Patrick’s Day in 2017. That was an increase from 26 in 2016 and 23 in 2015.
Motorists are reminded that it is never okay to drive impaired. Whether your plans include going to a party, going to the local bar, or attending a local St. Patrick’s Day parade, designate a sober driver or use another form of transportation to get home safely without having to get behind the wheel. If possible, make your plans for safe travel before you start drinking when your decision making is at its best.
Avoid Drinking and Driving
- Designate a sober designated driver
- If you can’t avoid driving, don’t drink
- Use public transportation
- Use a taxi or rideshare app such as Uber or Lyft
- NHTSA’s SaferRide app is available for download for your cellphone. It allows users to identify their location and call a taxi or friend to pick them up.
- Don’t ride in a vehicle with a driver who is intoxicated.